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Barking boss Gardner aims to end pre-season on a high after draw with VCD Athletic

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 August 2019

Nana Boakye-Yiadom equalises for Barking. Picture: Terry Gilbert

Nana Boakye-Yiadom equalises for Barking. Picture: Terry Gilbert

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Barking will complete their pre-season friendly campaign at Phoenix Sports on Friday off the back of a draw with VCD Athletic.

Barking huddle before the game against VCD Athletic. Picture: Terry GilbertBarking huddle before the game against VCD Athletic. Picture: Terry Gilbert

Goals in either half from Justin Gardner's side meant the game finished 2-2, with several of the under-23s featuring due to injuries in the first team.

Those injuries meant that Tuesday's scheduled friendly game against Great Wakering Rovers had to be cancelled as Gardner could not risk any further problems.

Attention now turns to the final game of pre-season against Phoenix Sports, before their BetVictor Isthmian South Central Division season starts on August 17 away at Marlow.

Gardner is expecting a tricky test at Isthmian South East Division's Phoenix and wants to see his side end their friendlies on a high.

"It will be a tough away game," he said.

"Last year they got play-offs. They are one of the favourites for play-offs this season and they are a top team.

"Apart from a couple of games I have been pleased with what I've seen in pre-season.

"There are still a few things we want to work on. Hopefully we can get a few players who have been injured out there.

"We had to call off Tuesday's game, we can't risk any more injuries."

The first goal in Saturday's game against VCD Athletic came on 29 minutes through a player who has yet to be confirmed as a signing due to the need for it to be internationally cleared.

The player in question put pressure on the VCD back line to force them into a mistake to give his side the lead.

The second then came on 76 minutes as Nana Boakye-Yiadom scored on the rebound after his first shot was blocked and came back to him.

Gardner's side will play their opening games away from home as their grass pitch is prepared following the postponement of 3G being installed.

And the manager also expects to have a couple of injuries still to contend with, adding: "I would be very surprised if a couple of them make the first game.

"We will have a team together and I can call on some under-23s if needed."

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